Friday, August 22, 2014
Getting Ready to Go . . . Again
Like any vegetable Padrón's are best fresh -- and even more delicious right from the garden. I just couldn't abandon today's haul to our fridge drawers and walk away without a thought. So I decided to pickle a few jars to save for the sad pepperless months to come.
I hate to lose that bit of char quick frying adds so I decided -- very untraditionally -- to give my peppers a brief sauté before loading them into sterilized pint jars along with a peeled clove of garlic, one bay leaf, and a pinch of red chile flakes. Padrón peppers are mostly mild but every now and then -- with no warning a hot one pops up (Spanish roulette I've heard it called). I like the extra punch the chiles offer.
For my brine I used 3 cups of vinegar, 1 cup of water, 3 TB of sugar and 1 TB of salt boiled together until the sugar dissolved. I poured the hot brine over the waiting peppers (leaving about 1/4 inch headroom), wiped the jar's rims clean, screwed on the two-piece lids and processed in a hot water bath for 5 minutes to complete the seal. This winter I'll add these beauties to stews and sandwiches and count on their tangy brine to add zest to pan sauces and salads.